De-problematising Aboriginal young peoples’ health and well-being through their voice: An Indigenous scoping review

Reakeeta Smallwood, Kim Usher, Cindy Woods, Neville Sampson, Debra Jackson

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    72 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: The continued use of a deficit discourse when researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia is problematic. Understanding and challenging the researchers position and the power of the words they use is important. It will ensure we do not persist in framing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as a problem to be solved. Design: Indigenist review of the evidence of Aboriginal young people's health and well-being. Methods: This review was conducted using an Indigenist approach to identify texts which amplified the voices of Aboriginal young people of Australia and presents a narrative summary of their accounts. This review is reported in line with the PRISMA-ScR reporting guidelines. Results: Culture and connection are critical components of Aboriginal young people's health and well-being. Aboriginal young people describe feeling of powerlessness to influence health and well-being of their community, and they understood the risks they and their communities faced. Young people identified the importance of connection to culture, community and Elders as crucial to their social and emotional well-being. Conclusion: By harnessing an Indigenous analysis, we were able to reveal a strong counter narrative of strength and resilience within their historical, social, and political contexts through the storied accounts of Aboriginal young people. Relevance to clinical practice: Most of the currently available evidence about Aboriginal health and well-being is immersed in deficit discourse. Literature reviews being the foundation of research and informing nursing practice, we call for a purposeful shift towards the adoption of an Indigenist strength-based approach which emphasises the strength and resilience of Aboriginal young people.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2086-2101
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
    Issue number9-10
    Early online date29 Mar 2022
    Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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